When he takes the mound tonight at home vs. Oakland, Jake Arrieta will look to return to the form he showed in his first two outings as he makes his fifth Major League start.
After going 2-0, 2.77 in his first two starts vs. the Yankees and San Francisco, Arrieta went 0-1, 12.27 over his past two vs. San Diego and Washington.
Arrieta said he has a good feeling for what was different for him over the last two starts.
“I still had good stuff. I feel like I’ve had good stuff pretty much every time out. I just really wasn’t doing a good enough job of commanding my off-speed, and when they can eliminate my slider and sit fastball, because I like to pitch in a lot, that plays into their hand a little bit better.
“Just really have got to focus on throwing those off-speed pitches for strikes in fastball counts. That’s something that I’m comfortable with doing a lot of the time and I just didn’t do a very good job of that the last two outings.
“I did a lot of work in the pen with Kranitz on speeding up some things in my delivery which keeps me on line a little bit more, keeps me direct to the plate and it’s going to be easier for me to throw those pitches for strikes more often.”
So he found out life can be tough at this level as he allowed 10 ER on 13 hits in 7 1/3 over those past two games.
“You’ve got to constantly make adjustments, not only in between starts but in between innings and that’s something that I’m starting to learn how to do. If you can’t do it, you’re going to run into some tough outings at times. But I’m confident that I can make inning-to-inning adjustments and we’ll see how it goes Thursday.”
One thing he said has not changed for him. That confidence that he took with him to the mound during that first outing vs. the Yankees is still around.
“It’s still there. The confidence and everything like that has to stay. If you lose confidence, you’re going to be behind the eight-ball from the get-go. So my confidence is still there, no question. I’ve just got to fight through it and things will turn around.”